Hate crimes, anti-India activities rising: MEA cautions Indians in Canada
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released an advisory for Indians in Canada to maintain caution against "rising hate crimes." Suggesting that "anti-India" activities have risen over recent days, the ministry advised Indian nationals to remain vigilant. The advisory has been released amid a huge diplomatic row over the "pro-Khalistani" referendum that has taken the headlines in Canada.
- Earlier this week, hundreds of men and women carrying yellow flags marched the streets of Canada to vote in a "pro-Khalistani" referendum and create an independent homeland for Sikhs.
- Over the last few years, activities by pro-Khalistani elements have been egging India-Canada diplomatic ties.
- The advisory comes only days after the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto was defaced with "anti-India" graffiti.
There has been a sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities in Canada, the ministry said. The MEA cautioned students and Indian nationals in Canada or those proceeding to Canada to exercise "due caution and remain vigilant.'' While MEA has taken up these incidents with Canadian authorities, the perpetrators are yet to be brought to justice, the advisory read.
Commenting on the recent 'pro-Khalistani' protests, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that it is a farcical exercise. He also raised objection to such incidents being allowed to take place in a friendly country. "It's a farcical exercise that was held by extremist & radical elements...Matter was taken up with Canadian authorities. We find it deeply objectionable..." he said, according to ANI.
Thread Big day for Khalistan Movement canadian sikhs came out in huge numbers at Brampton more than 100 K to vote in referendum 2022 i have witnessed history in making from young to 90 years old everyone demanding Khalistan pic.twitter.com/GtbNAloSaY— Azhar Javaid (@azharjavaiduk) September 19, 2022
According to reports, about one lakh people gathered in Brampton to vote in the so-called "pro-Khalistan" referendum, despite the Indian government's warning to Canada against "anti-India forces" operating in their land. On September 14, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir was defaced with 'Khalistan Zindabad' slogan, triggering strong reactions. Earlier, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside a temple was defaced in Ontario.
AAP leaders met Pro Khalistani leaders in Canada in Toronto, Canada Khalistan Zindabad anti-India slogan Hindustan Murdabad written on the walls of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple.— Vishnu Vardhan Reddy (@SVishnuReddy) September 15, 2022
Banned outfit SFJ is holding a Khalistan referendum in Canada on 18th Sept 2022.
Indian nationals in Canada can register with the High Commission of India (HCI) in Ottawa or Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their websites, or the MADAD portal: madad.gov.in. This can help HCI to remain better connected in cases of emergency.